Only the spouse and minor children (under age 21) who accompany the primary visa holder to the U.S. may receive J-2 dependent status. Their eligibility to stay legally in the U.S., as well as to extend their stay, is contingent upon the primary visa holder maintaining his/her legal status and extending his/her program in a timely manner.
All other family members must apply for a B-1 or B-2 visitor's visa to gain entry to the U.S. For more information on B-1/B-2 visitor visas for other family members, refer to Family Visitors to the U.S.
To enter the U.S. as a J-2 dependent, each dependent must have a DS-2019 and a J-2 visa.
Documents required to apply for a J-2 visa:
- Valid passport
- J-2 dependent DS-2019
- Visa application fee
- Visa application forms
- Supporting documentation including copies of the spouse's J-1 immigration documents, proof of study or program at U-M, and financial documentation.
Important information about J-2 Status
The status of the J-2 may be extended when the J-1’s program and DS-2019 is extended.
A J-2 may not be admitted for longer than the J-1. After the program completion date on the Form DS-2019, the J-1 and the J-2s may stay in the U.S. for an additional period of 30 days; this is called the grace period. During the grace period you may travel within the U.S but may not work or re-enter the US in J-1/J-2 status.
Once the J-1 has completed his or her program and left the U.S., the J-2 dependents must leave as well.
Immigration regulations require that all J-1 exchange visitors and their J-2 dependents be covered by health insurance while participating in the exchange visitor program.
Dependent children over age 21 are no longer eligible for J-2 status and will need to change to another status such as F-1 (for full time students) if they wish to stay in the U.S.
J-2 employment may be authorized by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service for the duration of the J-1 principal's authorized stay as indicated on Form I-94 and Form DS-2019 or a period of four years, whichever is shorter. However, most commonly, the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) is issued for a 12-month period and has to be renewed once a year. For information about U-M's policies on volunteer work, see U-M Volunteer Guidelines.
For more information on applying for an Employment Authorization, refer to J-2 Dependent Employment Authorization Document.
After obtaining the EAD, the J-2 spouse may apply for a Social Security Number and will be subject to federal and local income tax.
Currently there are no regulatory restrictions on study for J-2 dependents.